"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord..." Psalm 19:14

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another day of (un)rest: the situation in Thailand


Hi all! Reporting from Bangkok, here. Maybe you've heard the rumors about political unrest in Thailand, so I wanted to explain the situation...AND especially make clear that WE ARE SAFE. ICS is quite far from any of the demonstration areas. In fact, for us, these major protests have meant a quiet weekend close to home, and now, a day off school (tomorrow).

Here are a couple links about what's happening:


Of course, there is always potential for things to go awry, so do be praying for peace and safety to continue. We also pray that the government here will make wise decisions and that all of this will result in real solutions. As a foreigner, I humbly admit that I don't fully understand all that's going on, or what to pray for regarding politics. So, most of all, please pray that political unrest moves people to spiritual unrest...and that in seeking peace and stability, the people of Thailand find true peace through Jesus Christ.

I'm feeling convicted tonight about how I allow my unbelief to stifle prayers and downsize dreams. Who are we to decide what is possible? How can we even limit our prayers or expectations to what our finite minds can imagine? In other words, may we pray in faith that God is doing something GREAT here in Thailand, and around our world, and even within our own hearts.

Until next time, this is your very own correspondent from Bangkok, signing off...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Ode to Mai Pen Rai

mai pen rai [my pen lie] -Thai phrase, meaning, never mind; don't worry about it; oh well. This phrase quite accurately explains many aspects of the lifestyle and attitudes of the Thai culture.


An Ode to Mai Pen Rai

Dirty floors, blackened feet.

broken shoes from this concrete.

Another day of endless heat.

Mai pen rai


People cutting me in line,

Cannot read “cash only” sign.

Wish the language here was mine.

Mai pen rai


People think that I speak Thai.

And when I look for clothes to buy,

They say, “Too small for you – no try!”

Ohhh….mai pen rai


Streets are full, no garbage cans.

Always late, a change of plans.

Where’s someone who understands?

MAI PEN RAI!


Mosquitoes biting

Soi dogs fighting

I could keep writing…

Mai pen rai

...


But even here God’s in control,

And in His care, I place my soul.

To know His Love...my only goal.


Smile. Breathe. Trust and pray.

For at the end of every day,

He always gives me grace to say…

Mai…pen…rai.


*Please note, this poem was not meant to be negative -- more like...silly! Just thought I'd share some of the frustrations of Bangkok life. Keepin' it real. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Things you don't see every day...


6th graders...on the loose

Last week, we had the awesome privilege of taking our lovely 6th graders on a mini-missions trip/field trip/cultural experience. The 6th grade SALT (Serving And Learning Together) trip stays right in Bangkok, but don't you worry, we still found some new and memorable experiences along the way! This picture was taken at our first stop -- The Ancient City, a park/museum with replicas of some very well-known landmarks in Thailand's history.

On with the highlights...


Superheroes...roaming the halls

Our great theme for the SALT trip was Superheroes! All of our 6th graders were part of some intense Superhero-training. In fact, that's one of the guest trainers, Miss Super Hollywood the Magnificent (don't ask). Students learned that the first step to being a real superhero is knowing that you need one too. We all need to be rescued, and Jesus is the only Hero fit for the job. :)


Painting elephants

And dancing elephants, and sitting elephants, and hungry elephants...all at Bangkok's famous Crocodile Farm. Maybe not the most impressive zoo I've been to, but it certainly was a cultural experience. Never been to a zoo where the kids can feed tigers and bears raw meat. Hmmm.

Crocodiles who could bite someone's head off...but don't

Of course, what's a crocodile farm without crocodiles? Sorry, the performers did some cooler things -- like sticking their heads in the crocodiles' mouths, but I only got video of that (and the video's sideways and I don't know how to fix it). Oh well, use your imagination.


Homework + Field Trip = Really??

Okay, so it's kind of our fault as teachers, because we gave the kids a packet to complete throughout the week. But who sits in the middle of the gift shop, during the field trip, to get it done? ...Our students, that's who. Oh, they amaze me.


Smiling servants

So I know I've been raving about these kids all year, and no, they're not perfect (far from it, hehe). BUT, wow, we were richly blessed by their hearts and attitudes at our outreach. We took the superheroes-in-training to a local elderly home. They served lunch, performed a Talent Show, and best of all, befriended the residents at the home with sweet smiles and good conversations.

One last thing you don't see every day -- 6th graders singing a Thai song with hand motions to a room full of elderly people. Can't beat that! (P.S. Sorry if this video hurts your head; I'm no cameraman.)


Last of all, some final glimpses of the trip. Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us safe, helping us bond, and showing us more of Yourself through our worship and serving and relationships!! Yeeaaah!